What are dental implants?
Typically dental implants are made from titanium or titanium alloy as these materials are safe and non-toxic and are supported well by the bone in the jaw. Each dental implant is essentially a replacement for a natural tooth root and is usually screw-shaped. The implant is placed into a socket drilled into the necessary position in place of the former tooth.
To create maximum stability the intention is to fix the implant as close to the surrounding bone as possible, which will in time be further secured by the growth and calcification of the bone around the implant. The implant is then ready to have a new denture, crown or bridge attached to it for the completion of the procedure.
How many implants will I need?
If you’re missing a single tooth, one implant will usually suffice to reattach the replacement denture. If you’re missing more than one tooth, however, it will be necessary to discuss your personal case with a dentist as two or more missing teeth will not necessarily require extra implants. This will instead be determined by the quality of bone at the base of the implant site. It is possible, for example,that ten teeth could be attached to the upper jaw with as few as four implants as long as the bone is in reasonable condition.
Who are implants suitable for?
To find out if implants are suitable for you a dentist will need to undertake a thorough examination of your mouth and the proposed implant site. You must be in good generalhealth and it is advised to avoid excessive alcohol consumption and smoking prior to and during the treatment as these can have a negative impact by interfering with the initial healing process. Speak to your dentist about this if you are at all concerned.
How long will the process take?
The time between placing the implants and attaching the dentures can vary depending on individual circumstances and for some patients the total process can take up to 6 months. This said, it is possible to find dentists who offer a quicker option. One UK dentist in Exeter, for example, states on their website that they offer a short dental implant procedure which takes just 12-16 weeks.
Well-placed and well cared for implants can last for many years and often a lifetime, so it is worth choosing a reputable dentist with experience in this area.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Exeter or cosmetic dentistry in Exeter, Exeter Dental Care will be able to provide you with professional and sympathetic service for all of your dental needs. They offer the latest in implant technology and welcome new patients.